Sally Ann Shurmur: Getting Ready For NFL Playoffs This Weekend. Go Josh!!

Columnist Sally Ann Shurmur writes, "When Josh Allen says 'Go Pokes!' in his introduction, there’s a reason to be giddy. And when the cameras pan the end zones at Highmark Stadium and you can always see a gold buckin’ horse flag, that’s worth more than any tourism ad."

Sally Ann Shurmur

January 18, 20245 min read

Sally ann headshot 12 28 23
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

In preparation for the end of football season (seven games remaining), we have been watching lots of college basketball. Primarily the Mountain West Conference, if we can find it and if we can stay awake that late.

College hoops will get us through March and then the new UFL is set to begin, with the Big Nephew hoping to earn a spot on the DC Defenders roster.

In the interim, he’s pouring beer near Lambeau Field and working out at his old high school.

The other night, Carter Blackburn and Dan Dickau were talking about Jordan Love and Josh Allen during the UNLV-Boise State basketball game.

It is pretty cool to think that 25 percent of this weekend’s divisional round teams have QBs from the Mountain West, which gets forgotten more than it ever gets mentioned on the networks that cater to the P5 conferences. Let’s be honest. That’s pretty much all of them.

So when QB1 in Buffalo says, “Go Pokes!” in his introduction, there’s a reason to be giddy.

And when the cameras pan the end zones at Highmark Stadium and you can always see a gold buckin’ horse flag, that’s worth more than any tourism ad.

QB1 will be joined in this week’s divisional round by former Poke San Francisco 49er Tashaun Gipson, who unfortunately for Packer fans is playing great in the secondary.

The divisional round features two games on Saturday and two games on Sunday, all on real TV. Apparently the streaming on Peacock last week was a wild success. I listened to every minute on Westwood One Radio and paid nothing.

On Saturday afternoon, we’ll warm up with the Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens at 2:30 p.m. Mountain on ESPN and ABC.

It’s the only game of the four that I don’t have a deep connection to, but of course I will watch every play.

The quarterbacks will be the feature here as rookie CJ. Stroud and Lamar Jackson are both playing great.

The second Saturday game is the Packers at the 49ers at 6:15 on Fox.

To say I don’t have a good feeling about this is like saying it’s been cold this week.

And now for the history lesson, akin in our family to the most awful thing you can imagine, that one moment frozen in time, even 25 years later.

January 3, 1999. The Packers were looking for their third Super Bowl appearance in a row.

Leading 27-23 with 8 seconds left, all Fritz’s DB’s had to do was be in the right position in the end zone.

Instead, Steve Young hit Terrell Owens with a 25-yard TD pass in the one spot where a DB wasn’t.

Game over, 49ers win, 30-27.

It was the last game as Packers for Fritz and head coach Mike Holmgren and the other assistants who would follow Holmgren out to Seattle.

“Just two years,” Fritz promised Peggy Jane.  “Then I will come back and our future will be set and our next chapter will start.”

Instead, esophageal cancer took him three months after diagnosis and he was gone before the 1999 season started.

So yeah, I am not happy the Packers have to go out there - again. But not many gave them a chance against Dallas, so we shall see.

Sunday starts with the Cinderella Lions hosting Tampa Bay at 1 on NBC. The Lions are obviously my second favorite NFC team. What they have done for the city is hard to explain.

For my 60th birthday, one of my Motown cousins sent me a T-shirt from Kid Rock’s brand that says “Made in Detroit.” I will wear it for the first half of Sunday.

Then it’s QB1’s turn against the Chiefs in Buffalo at 4:30 on CBS. It will be chilly. The Bills will be lathered to get Mahomes and Dr. Pfizer at home.

I will be wearing my very inappropriate blue and red T-shirt that a Casper guy bought me off the street at a Bills tailgate and brought back for me.

If nothing else, Facebook has the power to connect longtime friends in Glenrock and Wisconsin when one says, “I NEED that shirt,” and the other says, “I’ll have Brian get you one.”

Enjoy your weekend. And may all your defensive backs be standing where they are supposed to be.

Sally Ann Shurmur was born in Detroit and has lived in Wyoming since June 1962.

She is a loud and proud graduate of Laramie Senior High and the University of Wyoming, and worked at the Casper Star-Tribune for 43 years.

Her primary interests are her kids (2), granddaughters (2), football, food, reading and sleep. Oh, and the retired cop who has chauffeured her around for 22 years. She can be reached at:

Share this article



Sally Ann Shurmur